Fitting salute to Saddleworth’s sporting heroes

Pete Wild (centre), winner of the Coach of the Year award
Pete Wild (centre), winner of the Coach of the Year award
Gary Melling (centre) receives his award for Contribution to School Sport.
Gary Melling (centre) receives his award for Contribution to School Sport.

SADDLEWORTH’S FINEST were rewarded at the onefuture Oldham Sports Awards.

Pete Wild, Gary Melling and Janet Thomas were all honoured at the Queen Elizabeth Hall which hosted the event.

Pete, Great Britain amputee football manager, was named coach of the year after enjoying considerable success in his 18 months in charge of the team in the build up to next year’s World Cup in Mexico.

A former player with Royton Town, Denshaw-based Pete is employed by the Lancashire Football Association and also coaches Oldham Athletic’s under-14 Academy side.

“I knew I had been nominated, but it was a complete shock to win the award,” he said.

The winner of the contribution to school sport went to Gary who is a PE teacher at Saddleworth School.

Gary, who has been a PE teacher at Saddleworth School for 12 years, also co-ordinates Oldham schools’ competitions in various sports and age groups.
He said: “It was great to share the same stage as the likes of Kevin Sinfield and Nicola White who are both higher achievers in their sport.

“I was flattered because there are lots of other unsung heroes and I was only doing my job, though I probably do more than most.

“Saddleworth is a great school for sport and it is more of a vocation for me.”

The physical activity recognition award went to Saddleworth-based Janet who overcame serious illness through physical activity, notably cycling and which has improved her quality of life.

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